Michael James German, Baron German, Order of the British Empire, OBE (born 8 May 1945) is a British politician, serving currently as a member of the House of Lords and formerly as a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the South Wales East region. He was leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from 2007 to 2008. In 1996, he was awarded an OBE for his public and political service.


German was educated at the Open University and St Mary's University College, Twickenham, St Mary's College. In his early life he was a member of 28th Cardiff Sea Scout Group. He trained and worked as a music teacher before becoming Head of the European Unit at the Welsh Joint Education Committee. Has also been a school governor.

Political career

His political career spans over three decades. He was elected as councillor on Cardiff City Council (Cathays (electoral ward), Cathays ward) in 1983, together with his wife, Georgette German (Plasnewydd). He was Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats on the City Council between 1983–1996 and joint leader of the Council from 1987 to 1991; he was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999 and re-elected in 2003 and 2007. In the 1996 New Year's Honours he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He contested Cardiff North (UK Parliament constituency), Cardiff North in October 1974 United Kingdom general election, October 1974 and 1979 United Kingdom general election, 1979 for the Liberal Party (UK), Liberals, before fighting Cardiff Central (UK Parliament constituency), Cardiff Central in 1983 United Kingdom general election, 1983 and 1987 United Kingdom general election, 1987 for the SDP–Liberal Alliance, but was unsuccessful on each occasion. Under a Lib-Lab pact, Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition he became Deputy First Minister for Wales, Deputy First Minister 2000-01 (and Economic Development Secretary) and again in 2002-03 (and Minister for Rural Affairs and Wales Abroad). He stepped down from the role of Deputy First Minister between the two dates to answer allegations made about his role at the Welsh examination board, the WJEC (exam board), WJEC. During this period he was temporarily replaced by Jenny Randerson as Acting Deputy First Minister for Wales, Deputy First Minister. In November 2007, Mike German became leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, after Lembit Opik stood down to ensure that the leadership of the party was in the National Assembly and not Westminster. He was succeeded in 2008 by Kirsty Williams. German's political interests include skills development in List of companies of Wales, small and large companies in Wales, constitutional affairs, Local government in Wales, local government, economy of Wales, economy and regeneration. In May 2010, German was named to the House of Lords as a 'working peer' in the Dissolution Honours list. He was succeeded to the Assembly in June 2010 by his wife, Veronica German, Veronica, a Torfaen councillor, as she was the next candidate on the regional party list in 2007. German took his seat as Baron German, of Llanfrechfa in the County Borough of Torfaen.

In the House of Lords

In summer 2021, it was proposed by the Second Johnson ministry to mandate that care home staff be required as a condition of employment to maintain COVID-19 vaccination status, as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021. The members of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, amongst whom was German, raised concerns about this proposal. German said at the time that "we have consistently made clear our view that all key definitions and criteria on which decisions that might affect a person’s welfare or livelihood will be made, should be included in legislation and not in guidance which cannot be subjected to appropriate Parliamentary scrutiny or approval."


External links

Michael German AM website

official biography at the National Assembly for Wales website
Welsh Liberal Democrats website

Official biography at House of Lords

Offices held

{{DEFAULTSORT:German, Michael 1945 births Living people Liberal Democrat members of the Senedd Wales AMs 1999–2003 Wales AMs 2003–2007 Wales AMs 2007–2011 Leaders of political parties in Wales Officers of the Order of the British Empire Councillors in Cardiff Alumni of the Open University Members of the Welsh Assembly Government Liberal Democrats (UK) life peers Life peers created by Elizabeth II